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Nonsense, rubbish. First recorded in the early 18th century; the origin is uncertain, but the term was first used in criminals' slang in give gammon ‘give cover to (a pickpocket)’ and keep in gammon ‘distract (a victim) for a pickpocket’.

gammon and spinach ‘nonsense, humbug’; with a pun on gammon ‘bacon, ham’. The words gammon and spinach are part of the refrain to the song ‘A frog he would a-wooing go’, and the term is used by Dickens: Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield (1850) says, ‘What a world of gammon and spinnage it is, though, ain't it!’.

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